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Re: [extremeperl] People or Languages?

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  • Terrence Brannon
    ... Within Perl, I can list 3 books that refilled my well: 1/ Effective Perl Programming. This was the book that really opened my eyes to what could and should
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 31, 2005
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      Rob Nagler <nagler@...> writes:

      > If you want to be a better programmer, don't learn a new language,
      > rather learn how someone else solved a complicated problem in a small
      > amount of code in a language you already know.

      Within Perl, I can list 3 books that refilled my well:

      1/ Effective Perl Programming. This was the book that really opened my
      eyes to what could and should be done with Perl. Here I learned to use
      one metaphor instead of 5 lines of code.

      2/ Object-Oriented Perl. This, along with Damian's modules were quite
      astounding.

      3/ It sounds like Higher-Order Perl might be the 3rd book to knock my
      socks off. But I have strong faith that spending my free time learning
      Haskell is the most productive thing I could be doing right now.

      Honorable mention goes to Data Munging with Perl. He took the topic
      that is Perl's sweet spot and managed to articulate in words, sections
      and chapters what Perl covers in giant steps in domain after domain.

      And finally, observing the new submissions to CPAN on a daily basis
      really helps you see what problems people have and how they solve
      them. I really wish Rose::DB had come out a few years back and I am
      doing my best to master DBIx::SQLEngine having enjoyed and been
      enthralled by the object wizardry of Class::DBI.

      > >
      > Rob
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      > Yahoo! Groups Links
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      --
      Carter's Compass: I know I'm on the right track when,
      by deleting something, I'm adding functionality.
    • Adam Turoff
      This discussion is starting to take a democrats vs. republicans kind of feel. Someone described that as the meeting of two irreconcilable viewpoints: - the
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 31, 2005
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        This discussion is starting to take a democrats vs. republicans
        kind of feel. Someone described that as the meeting of two
        irreconcilable viewpoints:
        - the status quo is bad, so favor change
        - change is unwarranted, so favor the status quo

        On the one hand, we have Rob who is fairly convinced that
        with a multi-paradigm language like Perl, any practice or
        technique worth adopting can be done through discipline,
        social engineering and practice.

        On the other hand, there's everyone else who subscribe to
        the belief that if you want to learn truly new approaches
        to programming, the best approach is to try new languages.

        There are advantages and disadvantages to each position, and
        neither is entirely right or wrong. They're just different
        approaches. TMTOWTDI and all that. ;-)

        On Mar 30, 2005, at 11:32 PM, Rob Nagler wrote:
        > If you had a week to refill your well, would you like to spend it
        > learning Haskell from a book or programming with Dan Ingalls
        > programming Smalltalk? (Said programmer is already a Smalltalker.)
        >
        > If you don't know how Dan Ingalls is, substitute: Guy Steele, Paul
        > Graham, James Gosling, Richard Stallman, Don Knuth, Butler Lampson,
        > etc.

        True, but there comes a point where there are no truly new ideas
        to find if you keep drinking from the same well.

        Case in point: if you compare FORTRAN I to Fortran 95, you'll see
        the same basic language, but some important differences. Modern
        Fortran feels like an Algol derivative with a syntax that dates
        back to the 1960s.

        Another example - Factor is easily one of the most interesting
        new languages I've seen in quite a while. It's basically Forth,
        with some inspiration from the functional programming world, including
        a type inferencing engine that reminds me of Haskell.

        These principles extend beyond languages that begin with the
        letter 'F'. Perl, for example, has a string of influences that
        is long as my arm. Perl 6 has a string of influences easily
        twice as long. All of those came from "outside the Perl community".

        > Do you learn programming from people or languages? I think the answer
        > is people. You learn by working on real systems written by real
        > people.

        True. Ultimately, we do learn from each other. And there are many ways
        to learn.

        I find that I learn more from someone like Gerry Sussman, whether I'm
        reading a text he's written, studying his code, listening to him give a
        keynote, or watching him teach (thanks to some recordings converted to
        Quicktime).

        Most of what I've learned from Kent Beck isn't from the code he's
        written,
        but about what he's written about the projects he's worked on. Ditto
        Paul Graham, Joel Spolsky, and Richard Gabriel.

        I also learn by working on real systems. *Both* are valuable. If
        you're
        going to learn from a text, you really need to find a *good* one, just
        like you need to work on a really robust system to learn anything
        useful.

        -- Adam
      • Rob Nagler
        ... Who are the gods creating these new languages, and what languages are they using to build them? How do we become gods and create languages? Rob
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 31, 2005
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          Adam Turoff writes:
          > the belief that if you want to learn truly new approaches
          > to programming, the best approach is to try new languages.

          Who are the gods creating these new languages, and what languages are
          they using to build them? How do we become gods and create languages?

          Rob
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